Sports Week in Review

The 2019 Bahamas Baseball Association National Championships kicked off their three-island adventure in Freeport during the Labour Day holiday weekend (June 7-9) with Grand Bahama Little League’s (GBLL) Eighteen and Under (18U) team pulling off a three-peat. 

Also during that Labour Day weekend, champions were crowned after another successful display of the HOYTES Labour Day Basketball Classic, at the St. George’s Gymnasium, June 6-8. 

The Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA’s) Senior National Championships just over a month away and the Local Organizing Committee are hard at work to ensure the 2019 product comes off flawless. 

Summer camps are a great way to keep young persons busy during the summer vacations and one local basketball camp is ready to get the ball rolling with their basketball camps this coming Monday, June 17.

Those moments highlight this week’s Sports Week in Review.

GBLL 18U team three-peats

The first leg of the 2019 BBA National Championships was one the biggest highlights during a busy Labour Day weekend in Freeport, Grand Bahama.

All the action took place at the EMERA Baseball Park where national champions of the 16 and Under (16U) and 18U divisions were crowned. Meanwhile the Six and Under (Tee-Ball) Division competed in exhibition games all weekend.

GBLL proved once again they were the top 18U team in the country. The GB All-Stars competed in a best-of-five series with the Junior Baseball League of New Providence to determine who would walk away as national champions and won that series, 3-1. 

Once GBLL took a 2-1 lead over JBLN that Saturday, June 8, they were able to put the finishing touches on the series later that afternoon and complete the three-peat with a 10-6 victory in the decisive game four. GB’s pitcher Kefon Wright was credited with the win while JBLN’s Giovante Tomalin was tagged with the loss.

That following Sunday the 16U national championship was decided between the Farmers and JBLN. That turned out to be a no contest as the Farmers were in complete control for the duration of the game. They went on to shutout JBLN 9-0 to capture the 16U national title.

The Farmers’ pitcher in Jeorge Araujo was credited with the win, while JBLN’s Gabar Collie was tagged with the loss.

Shaquille Anderson from JBLN won the best hitter award in the three-day tournament, Tyler Munroe from Freedom Farm was the best pitcher, and Pherron Moss from Freedom Farm was named as the most outstanding player.

Labour Day Tourney

Champions Crowned

Boys and girls teams out of Abaco, Bimini, Grand Bahama, Grand Cay, and New Providence all convened at the St. George’s Gymnasium and were engaged in a competitive three days of basketball this past week.

June 8, Saturday afternoon, spectators watched in amazement as the 2019 champions were decided. The ladies of HOYTES, who represented Grand Bahama got the championship action underway when they took on the Lions of Grand Cay.

HOYTES turned up the intensity late and managed to defeat the Lions, 14-7.

Head coach for HOYTES, DeMarci Merritt left feeling positive with the girls’ effort but still felt they could have played better. While those two teams were the only ones that competed in the girls’ division, Merritt also chimed that he would have liked the girls to compete against other girls’ teams.

“They played good to me. They could have done better but they didn’t have much competition but overall it was a good game. 

“I was a player once in this tournament and I thought I’d help coach (Gladstone ‘Moon’) McPhee by giving back my knowledge of the game and helping him out on the weekends when we have our practices.”

Power One out of New Providence took on the Agape Christian Eagles out of Abaco in the boys’ 9-10 championship. For the second year in a row Power One hauled away that division’s championship, thanks to a 23-12 win over the Eagles. 

Coach Manny Adderley voiced after the game, “It’s all on in stages. This is actually our second time winning this. Me, I believe in the fundamentals and teaching kids from 9-10.

“I always look forward to coming here and supporting coach Moon. He’s done a lot for me in my life. I played on the national team for years and we became one of the teams that came closest to making the Olympics. So anytime he is hosting something we try to support and this also helps with our team play for the summer.”

The 11-12 boys championship was decided between the Bearcats from New Providence taking on Abaco’s Agape Christian Eagles. The team out of New Providence dominated from start to finish and came away as champions with a 24-7 victory. 

“I think we played a great game. We had a great tournament. We have a lot of things to work out. This is only the second tournament they’ve played in as a group,” Bearcats’ head coach Wade Adderley shared, “We’re still in a developmental stage but this was great for us to come out, experience traveling together and experience playing in a tournament on a different island.”

In the subsequent championships, HOYTES took care of the Grand Cay Lions in the 13-14 boys championship by a final score of 22-15.

The Shining Stars later defeated Greater Heights, 22-19 in the 15-16 boys championship. The Grand Cay Lions defeated HOYTES, 30-17 in the third place game for that division. 

Getting ready for Senior Nationals

Friday, July 26 - Saturday, July 27 is the weekend slated for the likes of Shaunae Miller-Uibo, Stevie Gardiner, Grand Bahama’s Shavez Hart and Terray Smith, and others to show up and solidify their place to represent the country at the 2019 International Association of Athletic Federation (IAAF) World Championships September 28 - October 6. 

The 2019 Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA’s) Senior Track and Field Nationals will be held in Grand Bahama during the aforementioned dates and the Local Organizing Committee are in full preparation mode. 

“We’re looking to have an exciting Nationals,” Ferguson expressed, “It’s going to be held here in Grand Bahama and we wanted to start early in letting our Grand Bahamian fan base know we’d like their support out here July 26-27. 

“On July 28 we’ll be looking to host an invitational relay meet where we’ll try to qualify our national teams for the World Championships. So we want the wider community’s support to come out this year and show why we fought to host Senior Nationals here in Grand Bahama.

The relay meet entails that we’re trying to qualify our men and women in the 4x100 meters and 4x400m at the World Championships. So we sent out invitations to different countries to come and participate in this relay meet and give them a chance also to qualify. We’re still waiting on confirmation from other countries and once we get those we will go into further details.”

Next, Cooper outlined the proposed seating arrangements that would give residents various options to witness the country’s best perform that weekend. 

“This year we’re taking a different approach with the seating this year. You will have seating across the track where you can have different vantage points. We will have grandstand seating, we’ll have bleacher seating and we’re going to have standing room areas.

“So it gives us every point of view from the track where you can see different angles at different points of the race.”

Elite Basketball Camp set for Monday

The fourth annual Elite Basketball Camp is set to begin Monday, June 17-28 at the St. George’s Gymnasium between the hours of 9:00 a.m - 1:00 p.m.

An estimated 60 registrants will have the opportunity to build on their skills while receiving instruction from some of the top local coaches, along with visiting coaches out of the United States. 

Camp Director Bonnie Basden, shared her excitement for the upcoming camp and based on the success of last year’s camp, she is expecting the camp to be bigger and better this time around.

“We think it’s going to be even greater and better this year as we will be allowed to host the camp indoors...I’d like to mention that this camp will feature a lot of skill development, a lot of shooting drills. It will be an awesome learning experience for a lot of people.

“We’re hoping at the end of the day they will become better basketball players and better athletes and doors would be open for them to possibly go to college in the future,” Basden shared. 

Coach Denzel Knowles of D1 Development (personal trainer) and coach at Sunland Baptist Academy, will be present to help the incoming campers and voiced that he was ready to work the kids over the next two weeks.

“When it comes to ball handling we’ll be doing a lot of two ball drills, a lot of footwork exercises, learning about different kinds of ball handling instead of the traditional pound dribbles that everyone is used to.

“We’ll get into different kinds of passing - two handed passing, one handed passing - and different types of finishes off both feet. We’ll also work on different types of finishes around the rim - strong finishes, weak finishes, elusive finishes and so forth,” he concluded.

Sports Forecast

Grand Bahama Flag Football postseason play continues this coming Sunday, June 16 at the Grand Bahama Sports Complex beginning at 2:00 p.m. 

King Hoops Basketball Camp begins Monday, June 17-28 at the Jack Hayward Gymnasium beginning at 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Charles “Softly” Robins Basketball Camp launches Monday June 17-28 at the Charles “Softly” Robins Basketball Court between the hours of 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

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